Saudi Al Sharif Group to renovate Egypt’s iconic Shepheard Hotel
Egypt has picked Saudi firm Al Sharif Group (ASG) to renovate one of its most iconic hotels and that was one of the world’s most well-known establishments, Shepheard Hotel.
ASG signed on Sunday a deal worth 1.4 billion Egyptian pounds ($89.5 million) with the state-run Egyptian General Company for Tourism and Hotels (EGOTH) to renovate, furnish, and operate the opulent historic hotel.
The deal was signed by Sherif Bendary, EGOTH chairman and Alsharif Nawaf Bin Faiez , chief executive of ASG, in the presence of Egyptian Public Enterprise Minister Hesham Tawfik and Mervat Hataba, Holding Company for Tourism and Hotels (HOTAC) chairperson.
The hotel was once famed for its opulence and grandeur and the most visible symbol of Egypt’s colonial past. It hosted many notable guests such as the Aga Khan, Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Field Marshall Herbert Kichener, T.E. Laurence, and Theodore Roosevelt.
It was used as a base of operations in The Race Colonization series(1960s) by Harry Turtledove, as a location in Agatha Christie’s Crooked House (1949) and is mentioned in Anthony Trollope’s short-story, An Unprotected Female at the Pyramids (1861). In addition, it was featured regularly in Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series.
The hotel was portrayed in the 1934 British film The Camels are Coming and was setting for a number of scenes in the 1996 film The English Patient.
On January 26, 1952 the hotel was totally destroyed during the Cairo Fire and the anti-British riots that led to the Egyptian Revolution in July 23, 1952.
The current Shepheard Hotel was built in 1957 by Egyptian Hotels Ltd. about half a mile from the site of the original establishment.